Albert Goodwin

Home / Museum / Search ARC Museum

Albert Goodwin

Born 1845 - Died 1932

  • Artworks
  • Biography
  • Suggested Reading
  • Images of the Artist

Mode

Albert Goodwin was born in Maidstone, England in 1845, just three years before the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded, and two years after the publication of Ruskin’s first volume of Modern Painters. These dates are significant because it was in the artistic circles generated by Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites that Goodwin developed as an artist – first in the studio of Arthur Hughes, then under the supervision of F M Brown, and finally as a protégé of Ruskin. Although the Pre-Raphaelites were not primarily landscape painters, their views on ‘truth to nature’, and their practice of working directly from nature for the landscape settings of their pictures, inevitably influenced most contemporary landscape painters in the 1850s and 1860s; and in his Notes on Prout and Hunt, Ruskin quite rightly described Goodwin’s work as having been ‘founded first on strong Pre-Raphaelite veracities…’. Goodwin was, in fact, extremely fortunate in being taught by Brown, who is by far the most original and interesting of the landscape painters associated with the Pre-Raphaelite circle; however, despite Brown’s devotion to the concept of truth to nature, and working sur le motif, his landscapes are, in the final analysis, strangely artificial – reminiscent of the magical realism of Palmer’s Shoreham period rather than the naturalism of Constable, Cox or De Wint. Similarly, Goodwin’s landscapes are invariably infused with a poetic charm that raises them above mere description; indeed, one critic complimented him for having that ‘peculiar faculty of painting a natural scene with an undercurrent of supernatural feeling’.

Like Turner, Goodwin was a master of all the techniques used in water-colour painting, employing at various times (and not infrequently all together) watercolour, bodycolour, pen and ink, chalk, pastel and gum, on white or tinted papers, with the whole sometimes neatly enclosed in a beautifully designed, hand-painted border. In order to achieve the subtle lighting effects associated with dawn and sunset – his favourite times of the day – he wiped and scraped and ‘…hammered at them with the blade of a safety-razor, a knife, sandpaper, sponge, rag, and a fitch brush!!! So many are the expedients that the despairing water-colour painter in the last has to resort to’.

By Hammond Smith Author and Biographer of Albert Goodwin, Leigh-on-Sea: F Lewis, 1977

Compliments of Chris Beetles - www.chrisbeetles.com

Articles on Albert Goodwin Compiled by Chris Beetles:

His Life and Work
by Hammond Smith

Bogie and the Professor
by David Wooton

A Sketchbook of 1872
by David Wooton

Why Albert Goodwin Matters
by Godfrey Barker

Published on 01 January 2008

Bogie and the Professor

by Wootton, David

Published on 01 January 2008

A Sketchbook of 1872

by Wootton, David

Published on 01 January 2008

Why Albert Goodwin Matters

by Barker, Godfrey

Published on 01 January 2008
Published on 01 January 2008